David Slaying Goliath, Four sketches
a: 2 5/8 x 4 3/8 inches (68 x 11 mm)
b: 2 1/16 x 3 1/4 inches (52 x 82 mm)
c: 2 x 2 11/16 inches (50 x 68 mm)
d: 2 13/16 x 3 1/2 inches (71 x 88 mm)
Gift of J. P. Morgan, Jr.
Michelangelo and his follower Daniele da Volterra first met in the 1540s; around 1555 Michelangelo provided drawings, including the present ones, for several of the five paintings commissioned by Giovanni della Casa from Daniele. These powerful, rapidly executed studies of two grappling figures served as the basis for Daniele's lost clay model and doublesided painting on slate depicting David Slaying Goliath. Michelangelo had previously treated the subject in one of the spandrels of the Sistine Chapel.